(file photo)

(file photo)

County of Wetaskiwin clarifies their role regarding confined feed operations

The County of Wetaskiwin is clarifying their role when it comes to Confined Feeding Operations (CFOs) within the county’s boundary.

Over the past few weeks many county residents have come forward with concerns regarding a proposed CFO near Pigeon Lake, Alta. County Council and Administration say they have heard the concerns and want to clarify their role.

The county states that currently municipalities do not have the ability to approve or deny CFO applications.

Prior to 2002 municipalities were responsible for licensing and compliance monitoring for CFOs, however, on Jan. 1, 2022, the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) delegated responsibility for CFOs to the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB).

The NRCB is the regulatory body that approves or denies CFOs based on the requirements outlined by the AOPA. The AOPA is legislation which is under the responsibility of the provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Economic Development.

On March 23, 2022, the county’s Planning and Economic Development Department replied to the NRCB referral outlining how this application relates to the county’s planning documents.

County Council directed Administration to draft and submit a letter to the NRCMP on April 5, 2022, outlining concerns regarding road use agreements and intersection upgrades.

The county send a second letter to the NRCB on April 19, 2022, outlining additional concerns related to the CFO.

The NRCB is expected to make a decision in the next three to six months regarding the proposed CFO. The county says if residents have any specific concerns or inquiries regarding the CFO application the NRCB should be contacted directly.